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Finland 1994-1996: Opel and Astra take control

The Opel Astra is the best-selling vehicle in Finland for the first time.

* See the Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models by clicking on the title *

The Finnish new car market is finally recovering after sinking from 177.000 units in 1989 to just 55.700 in 1993. It is up a very healthy 20.6% in 1994 to 67.240 registrations. We witness a first both in the brands and models ranking: Opel (+18%) topples Toyota to take the lead for the very first time despite actually losing share at 13.5%. But Volkswagen is the real hero with deliveries up an astounding 158% to 2nd place and 12.5% share, its highest ranking in Finland in a whopping 22 years, since 1972 exactly. As a result Toyota (-5%), leader for the past 9 consecutive years, drops to #3 just above Nissan (+6%). In the remainder of the Top 10, Ford (+36%), Peugeot (+32%) and Renault (+30%) beat the market, Lada (+21%) matches the overall growth whereas Mazda (-5%) and Volvo (+12%) underperform. Citroen (+84%) and Pontiac (+43%) also shine.

Over in the models ranking, after two years at #2 the Opel Astra (+11%) snaps the pole position away from the Toyota Corolla (-3%) for just… 6 units at 4.797 vs. 4.791, both models capturing a 7.1% market share. It is the first ever time a Opel tops the Finnish annual charts. Exceptional progression of the VW Golf coming from #20 in ’93 to #3 in ’94 with deliveries up 4-fold to 5.9%, scoring the nameplate’s first ever podium. The Nissan Sunny (-21%) skids to #4, followed by the Ford Mondeo (+62%), Nissan Primera (+86%), Opel Vectra (+21%) and Ford Escort (+44%). Notice also the VW Vento up 75% to break into the Top 10 for the first time, #10, the Lada 1200-2107 up 33% but down 3 spots to #12, the Peugeot 405 up 63% to #13, Volvo 850 up 77% to #15, Citroen Xantia up 133% to #18 and VW Passat up 145% to #19.

The VW Golf posts its very first podium in Finland in 1994.

In 1995 new car sales in Finland gain a further 18.6% to 79.768 units. Opel (+22%) holds onto the top spot, improving its share to 13.9%, but Volkswagen (+26%) is getting closer at 13.3%. In fact, the entire Top 11 is unchanged on 1994 with Toyota (+1%), Nissan (+0.2%) and Ford (+13%) rounding out the Top 5 and Volvo (+31%) and Renault (+20%) outpacing the market but Mazda (-3%), Lada (+9%) and Peugeot (+11%) underperforming. Audi (+178%), Chrysler (+111%), BMW (+66%), Skoda (+56%), Honda (+55%), Fiat (+47%), Mercedes (+30%) and Saab (+27%) also shine in the Top 20 with Ssangyong making its first appearance at #29 and Hummer selling its very first car in Finland.

The Opel Astra (+24%) repeats in pole position, improving its share to 7.5% ahead of the Toyota Corolla (-5%) and VW Golf (+8%). The Ford Escort (+24%) is up four spots to #4, the Opel Vectra (+20%) up two to #5 and the VW Vento (+36%) is up four to a record 6th place while just below the Lada Samara rallies back up 66% and five ranks to #11.

The Toyota Corolla ranks #2 each year in Finland.

Finnish new car registrations continue to recover in 1996 at +20.6% to 96.230 units, the highest since 1990. Opel (+18%) threepeats in the brands pole position but continues to lose ground on Volkswagen (+21%) with only 204 sales separating the two German brands at year-end. Toyota (+27%) is back to 10% share at #3, distancing Ford (+31%) and Nissan (+8%). Fiat (+55%) is back inside the Top 10 at #9, with Renault (+47%) and Peugeot (+34%) also beating the market but Lada (-21%) skids to #10. Chrysler (+118%), Subaru (+118%), Skoda (+68%), BMW (+63%) and Mitsubishi (+62%) also impress.

The Opel Astra (-6%) keeps its crown for the third straight years but sees its share thaw to 5.8% whereas the Toyota Corolla rallies back up 18% to 5.6% and the Opel Vectra surges 76% to 5.6% also, scoring its very first podium and dislodging the VW Golf (+2%) down to #4. The VW Vento (+19%) continues to advances, breaking into the annual Finnish Top 5 for the very first time at #5 ahead of the Toyota Carina (+31%), Ford Escort (+13%) and Ford Mondeo (+13%). The Nissan Almera lands directly at #10, the Peugeot 406 is up 75% to #11, the VW Polo up 61% to #13, VW Passat up 60% to #14, the Renault Megane arrives at #15 and the Volvo S40/V40 at #16.

Previous post: Finland 1992-1993: Corolla and Astra lead weakest market in 25 years

Full Year 1994, 1995 and 1996 Top 45 All-brands and Top 50 models below.

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